Transmission and Possession of Child Pornography in Punta Gorda, Florida (FL)

Punta Gorda Transmission of Child Pornography Defense Lawyers

One of the most serious criminal charges is the possession and transmission of child pornography here in Florida and throughout the United States as a whole. If you or a loved one find yourself being questioned by police about child pornography, don't unknowingly incriminate yourself and call our experienced Punta Gorda child pornography attorneys at Musca Law before attempting to navigate your legal situation. Our Punta Gorda law firm has more than one century of combined criminal law experience and will place a tremendous effort into protecting your future and your reputation.

Florida Statute § 847.0137 “Transmission of pornography by electronic device or equipment prohibited; penalties”

At Musca Law, our criminal defense law firm in Punta Gorda rigorously defends its clients who have been charged with a criminal offense, including possessing and transmitting child pornography.  Our Florida Transmitting Child Pornography Lawyers work hard to win an acquittal in all types of sex crimes cases. This is what our law firm does, and our firm's results and client reviews speak for themselves.  In Florida, crimes involving illegal sexual activities and children are prosecuted and punished nearly as harshly as murder.

How is Child Pornography Transmitted?

According to Florida Child Pornography Laws, child pornography is “transmitted” when an illegal photograph or video is sent electronically from an electronic device to another electronic device.  The methods of transmission include email, direct messages (DMs), a peer-to-peer file-sharing program, messaging applications, text messages, bulletin boards, social media, chat rooms, file-sharing applications, and much more.

In a lot of cases, possession and transmitting of child porn were accidental.  For example, a defendant may have been downloading a batch of legal images, but there may have been an illegal file batch of pornographic files using a peer-to-peer file-sharing program in a folder. The user could get in grave legal trouble if the collection of pornographic images and videos they downloaded contained child porn.  To make matters worse, once the user makes those files publicly available online and other people download the images, they could be charged with transmitting child pornography.

How Law Enforcement Catches the Transmission of Child Pornography

If child pornography has been found, it is likely that anyone who uses the computer or the owner of the computer will be charged with the distribution, transmission, and possession of child porn.

Child pornography usually gets the attention of police in a variety of ways:

  • Notification of the child pornography on a computer by a repair technician
  • Solicitation of internet predators by undercover cops posing as minors
  • Monitoring of file-sharing sites such as LimeWire or Kazaa for child pornography

If evidence of child porn is present, police officers will obtain an arrest warrant for the individual and their hard drives. The hard drives will be searched for traces of child pornography.

About Child Pornography Charges in Florida

It is important to remember that the accused is deemed to be innocent until proven guilty. The prosecution is mandated by law to prove every element of the child pornography charge beyond a reasonable doubt. There are three elements that the prosecutor needs to prove in a Florida transmitting child pornography case, which if show, could result in the defendant being convicted of a felony “transmitting child pornography” in the third-degree.

  1. The defendant intentionally and willfully possessed illegal images or videos of a nude child.

  2. The digital media discovered in the defendant's possession shows a child engaging in sexual conduct.

  3. The defendant knew the media found in their possession included sexual conduct of a child/minor.

Florida's Criminal Statutes define a child as a person who is under the age of 18 years old.

The distribution or transmission of child pornography is further explained in Florida Statute 827.071, "Sexual Performance By a Child." The key elements necesary to prove these criminal cases are:

  • The defendant directed, advertised, produced, or disbursed any visual representation of sexual conduct of a child.
  • The accused knew what the visual representation of the child was and was still distributed.

To prove all three of these key elements to obtain a conviction, a prosecutor will usually introduce expert testimony.  At Musca Law, our legal professions work very hard to ensure that our clients have the most prepared defense. Our transmission of child pornography lawyers in Punta Gorda fight hard for your freedom!

Penalties for Transmitting Child Pornography to a Minor in Punta Gorda

According to Florida Statute § 847.0137, “Transmission of pornography by electronic device or equipment prohibited; penalties” it is illegal in the State of Florida and all 49 other U.S. states to possess, transmit, or distribute, child pornography. "Transmitting Child Pornography” is a third-degree felony in the state of Florida and is punished with up to (5) five years in prison, up to $5,000 in fines, sex offender registration, probation, and many other potential punishments.

WARNING: Florida prosecutors charge a defense for each image that was being transmitted as a separate criminal charge. Moreover, prison terms sentenced in child pornography cases in Florida run sentences concurrently.  In other words, two child porn images may mean (10) ten years in prison instead of (5) five years.  To make matters even worse for the accused, the prosecutor might “Enhanced” the criminal charges filed against the defendant. Meaning, there might be some facts and circumstances when the defendant's actions increase the severity of the punishments, fines, and prison sentence for the same crime is increased.  For example, the defendant is a law enforcement officer, the defendant also violated Florida Statute § 847.0137.  In that case, the criminal charge would be increased to a second-degree felony.  A second-degree felony is punished with up to (15) fifteen years in prison, probation, sex offender registration, and up to $10,000 in fines.

Each and every single video or photograph is considered a separate count of child pornography and constitutes a separate charge under Florida state law. Florida caps the prison sentence off at a maximum of 500 years.

If you are convicted with transmission of pornography to a minor, you could face the following:

  • Felony of the third degree charges
  • Possible mandatory sex offender registration
  • Up to $5,000 fine
  • Up to 5 years in prison

If child pornography is on a person's computer, it is assumed that he or she was involved in the transmission of child pornography. 

Federal Child Pornography Laws, Charges, Penalties, and Defenses

Federal laws also strictly prohibit the manufacture, possession,selling, and distribution of child pornography. The federal statute that addresses this criminal act is 18 U.S.C. Section 2252.  Of course, facing a criminal charge is much different than being convicted of a crime. Also, it is important to remember that you are considered innocent until proven guilty, even if it appears that the Justice Court does not share in the assumption. Prosecutors and judges typically hold strong negative feelings about sex crimes involving children, and defendants often find themselves fighting to receive fair treatment in the process. The penalties for possessing and transmitting child pornography are harsh and will follow convicted offenders throughout their natural-born lives. It is essential that anyone facing these criminal charges retain an experienced child pornography defense attorney in Punta Gorda right away to begin building a strong legal defense and make certain that the court upholds their legal rights.

Understanding Federal Child Pornography Laws

Federal law prohibits several activities as they related to child pornography, including engaging in the following:

  • Distribution
  • Sales
  • Possession
  • Production
  • Receipt
  • Search
  • Viewing

In fact, when it comes to searching for or viewing them, you could be violating the law even if you destroy the images later.

Sentencing for Federal Child Pornography Crimes

Convictions for violations of federal child pornography laws will lead to lengthy prison sentences.  Anyone convicted of possessing child pornographic images will face up to ten years in prison. The prison sentence is even longer, (up to 20 years) if a minor shown in an image is under the age of twelve.

In addition to prison terms, convicted offenders will have to pay hefty fines, and the courts may require the offender to pay financial restitution in cases where law enforcement officers were able to positively identified the victim or victims.

After the defendant has been convicted for violating federal child pornography laws, the offender will be required to register as a sex offender.  The Sex Offender Registries are searchable and cause a lot of complications for the offender for the rest of his or her life. Given the severe sentencing for federal child pornography convictions, anyone who is facing these charges needs to contact an experienced Child Porn Defense Attorney right away.

Similar Legal Offenses

Sexual exploitation of children is a similar criminal offense that is defined in a separate federal statute. This law is found under 18 U.S.C. Section 2251.  In both of these statutes, a minor is defined as any individual who is below the age of 18. When it comes to this federal statute, a person in the United States could face prosecution even if the sexual exploitation took place in another country.  If the individual who produced the child pornography was outside of the nation's borders, prosecutors will will be required to demonstrate that the defendant planned to distribute the pornographic images or videos within the United States.

This federal law also comes with harsher sentencing terms. There is a mandatory minimum prison sentence of fifteen years for those the court convicts of sexual exploitation of children. The maximum prison term is up tov30 years. Many other factors can influence the sentence an individual will face if convicted of this crime. Some of those factors include the type of images, the minors' age, the number of videos or images, and previous criminal charges or convictions on the defendant's record.

Defending Against Child Pornography Charges in Punta Gorda, Florida

There are several potential defenses to any of these criminal charges. However, devising an effective criminal defense strategy in these types of cases can be challenging, which is why you should hire a private criminal defense attorney.

One of the more common legal defenses to child pornography possession or transmission is to argue that the person depicted is not a child. If the individual is 18 years old, then the pronographic image is no longer an illegal pornographic image in violation of the law.  Another possible defense is to assert that the photos of videos are not “sexually explicit.” Not every nude photo or video is sexual in nature.  It would be challenge to differentiate between those images that depict images of child pornography from those that actually meet the standard of erotica, which is legal.

A lot of individuals who are facing these criminal charges could argue that they did not know they possessed those photos or videos. With today's technology and the internet, it is possible to accidentally download images without knowing what the photos actually depict. Specifically, if an individual immediately deletes or destroys those videos and images after realizing what the photos and video contained, can serve as a legal defense against their criminal charges.

Proving that a defendant did not willfully, purposefully, and intentionally downloaded the illegal images might require sophisticated computer forensics. Your attorney should be ready to call in experts in computer forensics who can prove or show how a person downloaded them unintentionally and immediately then attempted tried to delete them.

There are even federal child pornography cases where the defendants are trying to distribute the illegal content using an someone elses computer and without that person's knowledge.  The victim, in this case, could face charges although another person llegally and maliciously accessed their computer or network for the intention of distributing these materials. Technology is increasingly a factor in child porn criminal cases. Anyone who is facing charges related to child pornography should find a private attorney who knows and is experienced in building a strong defense while working with sophisticated technology.

There are also some scenarios where the government has engaged in some illegal searches of the defendant's home or computer, and therefore the evidence law enforcement collect cannot be used against that person. Occasionally, the police will use entrapment techniques to gather incriminating evidence against a suspect.  In some situations, the defendants may be able to fight against charges where law enforcement encouraged that person to commit a crime they would not have committed if not for government prompting.

No one should ever take a criminal charge lightly.  If you or a member of your family is facing child pornography possession or transmission charges, you will need to find an experienced possession and transmission of child pornography attorney in Punta Gorda who is ready to fight for your legal rights. Contact a child porn transmission defense attorneys to learn more about your legal options and how they can make a difference for you in your case.

Represent Your Case with Skilled Punta Gorda Transmission of Child Pornography Defense Attorneys!

Do not let your rights get sidestepped in the investigative process. Musca Law's Punta Gorda child pornography attorneys can help you make certain that you are being treated without bias and that you have the best chance possible at a positive outcome. Protect your future with our help.

Call (941) 621-9965 to begin a free case evaluation with Musca Law today. 

Musca Law

Address: 265 E Marion Ave #112
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
Hours: Open, Open 24 hours
Phone: (941) 621-9965